Attention shuts out irrelevant stimuli

Behavioral and Brain Sciences 20 (4):769-769 (1997)

Abstract

Express saccade experiments imply that attention shifts take time. We extend this result with new experiments on manual reaction times. Reaction to a cued target is always slower than reaction to an uncued control, even when the cue is correct, if control trials are blocked to prevent interference from cued trials. Attention functions not to speed response, but to prevent responses at irrelevant locations.

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